UFC 233 has taken another hit. After the flyweight title fight between Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw was moved to headline the first ESPN card, the UFC was scrambling for a main event. Now, it appears a fight that would have been on the main card is also off. As it is being reported that Dominick Cruz is reportedly out of UFC 233 with an injury.
MMA Brasil was the first to break the news that Cruz is out of the fight with an injury. It is not known what kind of injury Cruz suffered or when the injury happened. All that is known is the former bantamweight champion’s return has been delayed even longer.
Cruz last fought in December of 2016 where he lost his belt by unanimous decision to Cody Garbrandt. Since then, Cruz has been dealing with a variety of injuries. The former champion was set to take on John Lineker, who is riding a two-fight winning streak after losing to Dillashaw at UFC 207.
Lineker is always a top contender in the bantamweight division. Cruz was looking to get back to his winning ways to an eventual title shot. The former champion has been clamoring for a title shot against Dillashaw given he holds a win over him. Ultimately, it appears that will not happen for the foreseeable future, as Cruz is now sidelined again with an injury.
For Lineker, it is being reported that the hope is he will remain on the card. Ultimately, no replacement has been named as of yet, but Cody Garbrandt’s name was brought up. However, MMAJunkie’s John Morgan is reporting that Garbrandt’s team tells him that Garbrandt is still recovering from a hand injury and won’t be available until March. Meaning, Garbrandt will not be an option to step in and fight Lineker.
UFC 233 was shaping out to be a great card with the champion vs. champion title fight and Cruz’s return and Ben Askren’s UFC debut. However, two of those will no longer happen on the card.